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Arinaitwe is a small-scale farmer from Uganda who needs $264 to fund thyroid surgery.

Arinaitwe
49%
  • $130 raised, $134 to go
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$134
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May 21, 2020

Arinaitwe is a small-scale farmer from Uganda who is married and a mother to seven children. Two children are small scale farmers and married and the rest are still in school studying. She and her husband both practice farming for a living.

Five years ago, Arinaitwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing and headaches. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Arinaitwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 22nd at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $264, and she and her family need help raising money.

Arinaitwe says: “I hope for a successful surgery and this will help me do well again on my farms.”

Arinaitwe is a small-scale farmer from Uganda who is married and a mother to seven children. Two children are small scale farmers and marrie...

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Arinaitwe's Timeline

  • May 21, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Arinaitwe was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Uganda.

  • May 22, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Arinaitwe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 26, 2020
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Arinaitwe received treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • July 09, 2020
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Arinaitwe's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Arinaitwe is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 3 donors

Funded by 3 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $264 for Arinaitwe's treatment
Hospital Fees
$187
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients in need of a thyroidectomy often present with a small thyroid growth (nodule or cyst), a thyroid gland that is so overactive it is dangerous (thyrotoxicosis), cancer of the thyroid, noncancerous (benign) tumors of the thyroid that are causing symptoms, or thyroid swelling (nontoxic goiter) that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. Patients in need of thyroid surgery often present with nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck that releases hormones that control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy), breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the African continent. Iodine deficiency, although still the commonly documented cause of thyroid disorders in Africa, is not as rampant as it used to be. There is a compelling need to set up thyroid disorder registries in order to determine not only the scope of the burden of these disorders, but also to document changing trends, if any, especially given the background of widespread iodization programs. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has continuously increased in the last three decades all over the world. This trend is present on every continent except Africa, where detection is possibly insufficient.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Thyroid surgery takes approximately 3-8 hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of 6-8 weeks or as needed for recovery. A patient will usually have one follow-up appointment in six weeks.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

In cases involving thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. For hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the symptoms that the patient presents with such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative if diagnosis happens early. For benign tumors and hyperthyroidism, the surgery is more than 90% curative. The surgery comes with few risks.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In Kenya, surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the county. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Joseph

Joseph is a 19-year-old joyful boy who hails from the Mount Elgon area in Kenya. He shared that he is known around the village as the guy with the large mass due to his protruding hernia on his abdomen. In February 2019, Joseph was involved in a road traffic accident when he was headed home from his daily labor. He sustained injuries in his stomach where he was rushed to a hospital and an exploratory laparotomy was done. A few days later, Joseph was discharged from hospital and as his wounds were healing he started developing a mass on his stomach. Joseph feared to go to the hospital again because he didn’t want to be in pain. As the mass grew bigger, Joseph started worrying about his life. He went to his church pastor where the church raised money to send him to the capital city to get it removed but they were told he needed a specialist who demanded a lot of money which they could not afford. Joseph had given up on the possibility of getting treated. It was not until a friend asked his pastor to bring him to our hospital, where he was diagnosed with an incisional hernia that he was happy to be told that his condition can be treated. Joseph's father died of illness while he was young. He dropped out of school in Grade 4 because his mother re-married and she didn't have money to send him to school, so he began to work in farms to help get money for his daily needs like food. Joseph works in the farms and gardens and enjoys planting and farming. He wants to be able to have a big farm and grow lots of vegetables, corn, and millet. Joseph has gone to other doctors to help with his mass but everyone said it wasn’t operable. He is most disturbed by the way people who stare at him. Joseph is a very practical man and looks forward to going back to his farm and working hard to have a good crop and harvest and have a good life. Joseph is worried that he might not get a wife due to his condition. He is also facing stigma by people talking about his condition and has been denied work. If he is not treated, his condition will continue to worsen and his future plans feel bleak to him if he does not get treatment. Joseph told us, “I just want to be able to find a girl to marry and have a family.”

35% funded

35%funded
$165raised
$306to go
Atuhaire

Ampaire is a 25 year old single mother to one child who a preschooler. She is from a family of three girls, all now married and small-scale farmers. She shared with us that she stopped schooling during senior high school after getting pregnant and hasn't been able to go back. She currently stays at her maternal home together with her parents and her child. She earns a living from farming where she mostly grows food crops for their family to eat but at times she sells the surplus to generate an income for the family. She sometimes works on other people's gardens to earn an addition income whenever need for urgent money comes. Atuhaire came to the hospital with lower abdominal pain and a persistent backache for three years. She says she feels a solid mass in her abdomen and says she often feels chest congestion, easy fatiguability, and pain when she sleeps on her right side of the body. This has exposed her to having a poorer quality of life and if not treated, the presenting symptoms may persist. Atuhaire had only ever been to Kisiizi Hospital and was seen by the doctor who examined her and recommended her for surgical treatment but since she had limited finances, she decided to persist with her condition. Things worsened thus she decided to come to Nyakibale Hospital for surgery. Having reached here, she was examined by the doctor who requested a scan. The results indicated a Tubo-Ovarian mass and she is recommended for cystectomy treatment. Atuhaire shared: “I hope to get a better health and relief after surgery so that I can continue with cultivation to provide to my family."

4% funded

4%funded
$10raised
$210to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.